A "Living Classroom" that Impacts Local & Global Communities
Concordia University Portland offers an engaging, interdisciplinary program preparing students for careers with community development organizations, international non-profits, inter-governmental agencies, NGOs and educational institutions. The Master of Arts in International Development and Service (MA IDS) is a “living classroom” combining rigorous academic study with field research and volunteer service in the United States and in several overseas settings.
The program is designed for students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree and want to pursue a graduate degree that combines the rigor of scholarly study with meaningful service opportunity. Graduates develop intercultural competencies, gain international development experience and form a deeper understanding of how to navigate complex partnerships in and between global communities. Working across disciplines and looking through multiple cultural lenses, students generate innovative research, practices, and technologies to address development issues in ways that foster creative, long term and constructive social change. Areas of study into public health, peacebuilding, global nonprofit management, human rights, environmental sustainability, and migration studies.
The MA in International Development and Service covers four semesters. Two semesters are spent on the Concordia campus in Portland, OR, acquiring foundational skills and reflecting on field experiences. Two additional semesters are completed at two international partner sites where students receive practical field experience through applied learning. Current international site options include: Northern Ireland, Uganda, and Ecuador. This educational model constitutes an experiential and praxis-oriented approach to learning combining theory, practice and research using the world as a living classroom.
The MA IDS living classroom pushes students beyond mere cultural immersion. They are intentionally confronted with “development” complexities faced every day by nearly two-thirds of the world's population. In addition, field study includes working and researching within various organizations in the community through service-learning engagement.
The next MA IDS cohort begins in fall 2016 (August).
Join our "living classroom."
Click HERE for the current MA IDS program booklet.
Current International MA IDS Study Sites
MA IDS students select two international sites. Students spend one semester at each site (semester two and three). International sites are subject to change, depending on political conditions and travel restrictions. Additional international sites are added as opportunities and needs warrant.
Current international sites available to MA IDS students:
1. CORRYMEELA – NORTHERN IRELAND, UK: Corrymeela is a diverse community committed to the healing of social, religious and political divisions that exist in Northern Ireland and throughout the world. Founded in 1965, it is the oldest peace and reconciliation organization in Northern Ireland with a residential center located near Ballycastle in County Antrim. Using Northern Ireland as a case study, students will examine how communities can break down or flourish in the face of difference. Study will center on Community Development in Divided Societies.
2. MUSANA – UGANDA, EAST AFRICA: Musana Community Development Organization (MCDO) - The living classroom experience in Uganda will bring students directly into daily contact with residents in the Musana community. Students will live with Ugandan host families and work with organizations in Iganga to build applied skills and strengthen personal and professional intercultural competency. Experiences will include a wide range of site visits including public hospitals, government school classrooms, international development agencies, subsistence farms, and urban slums. Students will have an opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs who have pulled their families out of poverty through microloans and engage with empowered women who are breaking the cycle of patriarchal dependency.
3. USFQ – ECUADOR, SOUTH AMERICA: Concordia University has partnered with Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Cumbayá, Ecuador, to provide an international site pairing field research and environmental issues. USFQ is the only university in the world with campuses in the Galapagos Islands and the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon. These locations are some of the most biodiverse areas on Earth. Using Ecuador as a case study, students will explore indigeneity, the environment and sustainable development with indigenous communities, civil society leaders, local politicians, scientists, and corporate energy administrators.